Monday, August 1, 2016

The Last One by Alexandra Oliva

The Last One
by Alexandra Oliva

My rating: 5 stars

Publisher: Ballantine Books (July 12, 2016)
Publication Date: July 12, 2016
ISBN: 1101965088
Print Length: 306 pages
Available from: Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Survival is the name of the game as the line blurs between reality TV and reality itself in Alexandra Oliva’s fast-paced novel of suspense.

She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.

It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.

Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all her survival skills—and learn new ones as she goes.

But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways—and her ability to parse the charade will be either her triumph or her undoing.

Sophisticated and provocative, The Last One is a novel that forces us to confront the role that media plays in our perception of what is real: how readily we cast our judgments, how easily we are manipulated.

The Last One by Alexandra Oliva

The Last OneReality TV, admit it, we have all watched at least one. We have also sat in judgment of players after only seeing what the moneymakers want us to see. And. We. Fall. For. It., even as we say we are too smart to be manipulated. What happens when survival on a Reality TV show and reality itself become all too similar and how would we understand the difference after the physical and mental trauma of facing staged life and death situations daily for weeks?

Twelve contestants are chosen to test their mental and physical endurance. How well they will face challenges as an individual and as part of a team, knowing there will be only one winner? Through bite-sized looks at each contestant, we are given a look at the behind the scenes story of one such show. One woman will stand out and she may be the only one who knows the truth of what has happened in the world they all left behind to play a game. The Last One by Alexandra Oliva is a stark look at the human condition as we see it through the eyes of showmanship and of a reality that may or may not be real.

Alexandra Oliva’s tale is raw, brutal at times as tempers flare, insecurities and egos clash in a game of survival created for the masses to follow, comment on and feel superior to the players while armchair quarterbacking. We are invited to discover what happens, what is said and what ends up on the cutting room floor. We are also asked to determine if the apocalypse has come for more than these contestants as the world continues without them? Is it possible that money will scream so loudly and we have become so immune to our own humanity that while the world falls apart, the show must go on? One woman will test the limits of herself, the game and the world beyond. For those of us who do NOT like reality shows, The Last One gives a shining example of what is wrong with them as they encourage distrust and anger while stripping humanity down to its ugly scars.

I received an ARC edition from Ballantine Books in exchange for my honest review.


1 comment:

  1. All right...I confess. I watch entirely too much reality TV, whether it's Survivor, the Alaska shows or the flipping homes shows. Can't seem to help myself. LOL
    sherry @ fundinmental